Friday, September 19, 2014

I Want to be like Barbie

Last night I joined the spousal unit and ventured into the world of Barbie Bassett wantabes by attending one of their group "join us" meetings.  The attendees were encouraged to bring their spouses so that they could hear her story from her husband's perspective.

The company is Rodan and Fields, and the product focus is skin care products sold and promoted through direct marketing.  Barbie is the top dog for our area and she recently retired from her meteorologist position with a local TV station to promote this business full time.

Before things got started, all the buzz was about Barbie's successes with Rodan and Fields.  She is a mother of three, she home schools her children, she now does this full time, she drives a company Lexis, she's making a million dollars, and now her husband has retired to join her full time.  Hum,  OK........

The meeting got started, and Barbie went into her spill.  She was approached about Rodan and Fields early in the kickoff of their direct selling strategy.  She is a pubic figure in the Mississippi market, good game plan.

I've heard it all before.  Sell to your circle around you.  First, to family, then to friends and neighbors, then branch out just a bit to expand your network.  Sell these folks on the business model that it can work for them, and before you know it, you have your own Rodan and Fields network!

Sounds fine.  You buy in.  Small investment of money, big investment of your time.  No inventory to stock, everything is ordered online.  Bring on the Lexis!  Look out family, neighbors, and friends, here I come!

When Barbie finished her presentation, she introduced her husband, who presented his story from a spousal unit's perspective.  OK, I'm all in!

From his point of view, OK, Barbie, give this a shot.  She wanted this, and she was willing to put in the effort to make a go of it, along with being a mother of three, home schooling them, TV job, author, and public speaker.  He quickly discovered that this new venture was pulling his wife away from family time and couple time.  Whoa!  She was now spending a considerable amount of time away from home.  He would have to pick up the slack on the home front.  Whoops!  He didn't plan on that, back up, time to organize the family calendar so he could grasp what this was going to cost him!  Sound familiar????

Well,  Barbie, being a public figure, has the right kind of circle that can make this work.  She has put in the time that it takes to make it work.  She is making a good living, and she is driving that Lexis.   Good for her!

Now,  step back, analyze this.  Barbie is successful at this because she put in the time and effort to make it work.  It cut into family time.  It cut into husband time.  The Lexis, its a car allowance, and her name is on the lease for it for three years.  She is not making a million dollars.  She has joined the million dollar sales team.  Her cut, commission wise is 15 to 30 percent.  A rough estimate would be $250,000 to $300,000 a year, after investing three  years of her time.  The husband did not retire, he cut his full time work back to two days a week.  Why?  He loves what he does, plus, most likely, he is still working to provide his family medical coverage through his employer.

OK, time to step back in closer.  Products are great, but at a higher cost.  Why?  Highest quality without a prescription.  And, somebody has to pay all those levels of commission to all the lucky folks that are above you in the foods chain.  Heard  it before, hearing it again.

So, if you want to be like Barbie, more power to you.  Just remember, it ain't easy, its gonna take a major commitment of your time, so either go all in or not at all. This applies to all of these direct selling opportunities that are out there today.  Worse case, you make enough to cover the cost of the product you use.

 Is it worth the time and effort?  Time will tell...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Post Game Day Notes-Oxford

You've gotta love game day on any campus, but especially in the south.  Here are a few takeaways from yesterday's visit to Oxford:

1.  Al Gore was a little off on his global warming.  When in Oxford in September, pack additional clothing:  Shorts and t-shirts, rain gear, boots of all kinds, and now cold weather gear.  With the wind, it was COLD!

2.  Regardless of your color choice for your top, your bottoms on game day must be white!  Navy Blue was the color for the day, along with a sea of white britches!

3.  Have your female companion pack some small cups for the stadium.  Then buy one "bottomless drink" for $8 and share.  Get free refills during the game.  Do like my friend Hart, after the third home game, bring along all of the bottomless drink cup colors for free refills the rest of the season!

4.  Do not argue with the Popo about having to pour out your twelve pack of beer mini-cans.  They have bracelets, one size fits all....

5.  Do not let your drunk date walk in the street after the game.  doing drum beats on passing cars is a definite No No!

6.  Enjoy the game.  But, keep your sideline reporting to yourself, or at least in a soft tone during the whole game.  Your stadium neighbor will appreciate it.

7.  Don't yell at Bo Wallace for a bad pass when he is on the sideline and a sub is in the game.  Either memorize the uniform numbers or buy yourself a damn program.  Armchair quarterbacks, geeze!!

8.  Nike, Adidas, and Reebok need to come out with some game day sneaker heels.  Too many coeds are breaking heels, twisting ankles or walking barefoot after showing up in 3 inch pencil heeled shoes!

9.  Want to confuse occasional visitors to campus?  Install not one or two, but three "round abouts" on Old Taylor Road.  Sit and watch the cars go round and round......

10.  Elvis,  where in the hell were you????  Missed your sweet voice big guy!

Game Day in Rebel Land

Early start today with a road trip to Oxford to see the Spousal Unit's Rebels play.  Kinda funny, we've made two trips to Starkville already and its like dragging a sack of taters outa the bed.  Today, the Spousal Unit is up bright and early at 5:00 a.m.  Guess I need to change her calendar for the next Bully game to make her think we are headed to Oxford!

We had the car smelling some kinda fine as we pulled out of the driveway.  We had pork butt all foiled up, fresh off the fire, smoking spicy sausage cheese balls, and the aroma of the Spousal Unit's fancy hot ham and cheese fancy sammaches filling the air.  Had to make a quick stop at Kroger for the ice and slider buns before hitting the highway.

As I was making my way back to the car in the parking lot, I heard this older fella say "are you ready"?  Since I was wearing red and blue (payback for some cowbell fun last weekend) I'm guessing he thought I was one of his fellow Rebel Fans.  Rather than give him the customary "Hell Yeah" reply, my quick bulldog wit came up with "yep, car is packed and ready to roll, just needed a bag of ice"!  I thought I'd thrown him for a loop with that one.  Nope, he worked his way over to the car.

From just one look, I could tell he has been to his fair share of Rebel football games.  He was extremely proud of his straw hat, which was covered in buttons that you just don't see every day.  Some were quite faded, but you could tell that each had quite a few stories to tell.  Some dated back to the sixties, and of course one of the oldest said "Go to Hell LSU"!

 He was one of those die hard Ole Miss Fans that never attended the first class on the campus in Oxford.  Being from south Mississippi, his Daddy sent him to Southern Miss, or as he called it "Hardy Street Elementary"!  He has a canvas banner that says "Go to Hell LSU" that he puts up in his car window.  He gets the biggest kick out of young LSU coeds that shoot him the finger as they pass him in the highway.  My kinda football fan!

Had the strangest sighting as we began the trek east on Highway 6.  As we passes the Marathon gas station on the right, we noticed that the Rebel Trailer that sells all the Rebel goods was not in the parking lot.  I cannot remember ever driving by and not seeing that red trailer, up front and center!

We make it to Oxford, and I took the Old Taylor Road exit.  You would think that you were in another country.  They have added one of those loopty loop round-a-bouts on both sides of Highway 6.  That's in addition to the one you ride through on the edge of campus.  It almost felt like a carnival ride!

I pulled up to the edge of the grove to unload all the goodies for the day, and when I opened the door, the rush of cold air hits me!  Its freaking 61 degrees!  I was wearing my flippers for God's sake!  Fortunately I had packed some socks and shoes for the walk to the stadiums.

I like to get set up early so that I can enjoy the sights of the day.  To my surprise, there was only one poor fellow to get busted for toting a multipack of beer.  This guy had the misfortune to get busted with a multipack of 8 oz cans of Coors Light.  What male buys 8 oz cans????

 On this day, the designated color was navy blue.  I swear, I have never seen so many women wearing the same color dress, in all the designer styles!  So many of them were short and sheer.  I had a mental picture of all of them taking their seat on those cold metal bleachers, all at the same time, and coming up with a new Ole Miss cheer "ooooh that's COLD"!

I made my trademark sugar cookies that are cut out in the shape o the State of Mississippi.  Since today was designated navy blue day, I iced them in navy royal icing.  It took three bottles of food coloring to get the desired deep blue color.  I was cracking up each time someone took a bite of these cookies.  Every time they would smile or begin  to talk, all you could see was blue teeth and blue tongues!  Probably be seeing something else blue tomorrow!

Ole Miss and CSpire teamed up to provide game day wifi access at the stadium and today was the first day of beta testing.  I brought my Nexis tablet to do a little beta testing myself.  I took a selfie and one of the spousal unit shaking her "thang one" red pom pom.  It took about five minutes for each of them to upload through Facebook.

The beta test went ok until the second quarter.  I think that it either got overloaded or the powers that be just disconnected it.  Never could get connected after that!  They got a long way to go if they think non-CSpire users are gonna pay $5 for that.  They have one more game of testing before it goes live.

As the first half was coming to a close, four women took a seat on the row in front of us.  I mention to one of them that they must be Mom's of freshmen on the  Rebelette cheer squad.  They looked at me and said "why yes, we are.  how can you tell??"  I've been sitting in these seats for quite a few years, and believe me, you can just tell!

Game over, and the exodus from the stadium begins.  The freshmen coeds have a long way to go to keep up with the upper classmen.  They were the ones walking bare footed, with a drink in one hand, and their three inch heels in the other!

As the Grove began to clear out, and the packup crews began to arrive to dismantle things, it was time for us to pack up for the hike to the parking lot.  My friend Kyle, in from Kansas, had rented a house for the weekend.  His buddies had cancelled out on him at the last minute.  Before we left the tailgate for the game, he had no takers for the other bedrooms.  By the time we are packing up, Kyle had four female house guest in tow.  Atta boy Kyle!

Two weeks until the next home game.  Hoping Mother Nature doesn't have anymore surprises in store for us.  Stay tuned......

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dental Virgin

Well, I had to go to Dr. Vic this morning.  He used to call me his "dental virgin" because all he could get out of me were some x-rays and a cleaning twice a year.  I got my first filling at the age of forty, and its been down hill ever since.  My teeth have never been pretty, but they have been healthy.

Today I went in for a follow up to some receding gum issues and two fillings.  Fillings now are to fix the wear and tear of all the good eating I've done in my adult life.  Still no crowns, just a few fillings and a wisdom tooth extraction years ago.

The best thing, or only good thing about going to see Dr. Vic, are his dental Hygienists.  If you aren't blonde and pretty, you won't be working here!  Its hilarious to be lying in the dental chair, looking up at those eyes, then having them say something to you and all can do is say argggggle!  Today during the cleaning, the hygienist was up close and personal.  She was just cleaning away and talking to me, and I hear this huge growl!  At first I thought it was me, because she just kept talking and working away.  Finally, when she took a breath, I asked her, "was that your stomach???"  She said, "yeah, I didn't eat supper last night, and I was gonna eat my breakfast after I finished up with you.  Kinda sounded like a bear, didn't it!"  Yep it did!

Her work all done, it was time for Dr. Vic.  I was moved to a different chair, where Miss Brenda was waiting.  She had this cute little thing with her.  I said "rut row, we gotta trainee today??"  The young assistant said "yes".  I asked how long had she been working.  Her answer was "this is my first day".  I yelled "OMG!  Dr. Vic, you're using a rookie on me????"  He said "she's got to learn it sometime, so why not do it on the worst patients!"  I asked her where she went to school, "Hinds" was the reply.  I said, "Oh my, not UMC????  Miss Brenda spoke up "I went to Hinds".  I then asked "well today they say "see you at Hinds", what did they say back in your day?"  Dr. Vic interjected "probably good bye!"  I asked are you making all A's?  She shly said "some A's, and lots of B's".

I told her, "If you can survive me today you'll be ok.  Dr. Vic said "Bill's an asshole that kids around a lot.  Its the assholes that aren't kidding that you have to worry about!"

Dr. Vic applied his magic potions and the needle and before long my mouth was completely numb.  He got started, then was barking out orders, and things weren't going exactly the way he wanted.  It wasn't long before Dr. Vic asked  Miss Brenda to step in.  I felt like I was in a scene from M.A.S.H. and the top dog assistant was called in.  Miss Brenda is no Hot Lips Houlihan!  Dr. Vic was working me over to get these two fillings done.  I held my big ole mouth open as far as I could get it, thinking I was gonna have a muscle cramp any minute!  He was finally done.  The rookie assistant stepped back in to do the wipe down and clean up.  Maybe she will have a better experience with the next patient.

Well, ole Dr. Vic doesn't refer to me as his "dental virgin" anymore, now that he has taken care of fire fillings over the past ten years.  Next appointment in December.  Hopefully no more fillings or other dental work for a while!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Getting Too Old for This!

I think this aging thing is starting to catch up with me a bit.  A full day yesterday has officially caught up with me.

Football Saturday in Starkville.  Cooked two butts overnight, so an early rise to get all packed up.  Did not arrive on campus early enough by 15 minutes (4 hours before kickoff) and the whole campus gets shut down, so no easy drop off, bummer.  Luckily, I packed light and everything fit in my handy dandy wagon.  Not so lucky, parked in the village parking lot, at the bottom of long slope.  Wagons ho! but needed a man cub mule!  Getting too old for this....

Man cub had not arrived early either (five minutes away) so tables, chairs and such had to be toted the distance too.  Thank you Derrick and my handy dandy wagon!  Getting too old for this....

Tailgating spot is close to the stadium entrance, so that's an easy walk.  Sitting in 90 degree heat was another matter.  Lasted a quarter and a half.  Looked in the zone and had to take pity on those freshman frat boys wearing dressy clothes.  Never did it in my day, and thankfully don't do it now.  The heat, getting too old for this....

We stopped by the spousal unit's parent's house in Greenwood for a break before heading to the family wedding in Inverness, and change clothes.  The rebellion game was on, and the paw-in-law didn't have his hearing aids in.  He had the volume up so loud, it felt like we were in the middle of the student section in an overflow crowd .  Getting too old for this.....

Made it to Oakhurst, parking close to the road with a nice little walk ahead.  Spousal unit took the golf cart ride with a young buck driver.  I was in hot pursuit by foot.  Getting too old for this.....

Wedding reception is in full swing.  Wonderful people, amazing food, limitless bar, with a band playing too.  In my younger years I would lapped it all up.  One beer limit, check.  Tara doing the bump and grind on my butt took care of the dance steps.  Getting too old for this.....

Ride home was uneventful, till I missed the Natchez Trace turnoff.  How in the heck did I do that????  Oh well, there is always the County Line Road exit. Getting too old for this.

Well, guess what?  The Rebellion will be in Oxford this coming weekend, and the and the spousal unit will be in the middle of it!  I'm getting too old for this, NOT!!!!

Delta Wedding

Major event in Inverness yesterday.  Lee and Denise Beckham gave their oldest daughter away to Thomas Sandidge.  The wedding was held on the grounds of Oakhurst, the town's Big House!

Inverness is a small Delta town just off of Highway 49.  Back in my day,  the downtown on a Saturday night would be full of activity.  The business strip was full of Chinamen stores where you could go into to pick up a few things and just sign the cash register receipt and they would sent you a bill at the end of the month.  There were also retail clothing shops, drug stores, a dentist office, bank, and several cotton buyer offices.  There was a railroad track that ran through the center of town, and you could be the king of the mountain on a huge pile of  lime that was stored next to the tracks.  During cotton ginning season, the three gins were running 24/7 to stay ahead of the farmers bringing in their trailers.  Each morning you would wake up to a fresh blanket of brown snow, a by-product of the ginning process.

Almost all of that is gone now.  I think Pon's is the only Chinamen store still left.  There biggest seller was ice cold beer, and still is!  The school, Central Delta Academy, had to close because of declining enrollment.  It was a sad day when the old buildings were torn down and sold for salvage.

The one thing that is still there are the people.  A lot of families have either moved away or died off, but the core and soul of this community still thrives.  People here are given a kickname early in their life and it sticks with them for life.  It was good to see T Bone, Strick, Mr. Webster, and all the others.

It doesn't take me very long to catch up one the happenings of the town.  Just a few minutes listening to my Mom is all it takes!

Funnies from the Day:

As you can figure out from the above, the town is small.  Both my first born Matthew and my nephew Chase could not find Oakhurst without a bit of riding around.  Its the biggest house in town!

A golf cart shuttle service of one cart was available for those that could not handle the long walk up the drive.  It was a one passenger seater!  Some hopped on the back for the short ride!

The green carpet was rolled out for the wedding party to enjoy.  The rollout came up just short of the house steps!  Beck made quick work of the repair!

A tent was set up on the grounds, with tables and chairs, and a band playing. A bar was serving what ever your taste buds desired.  One side of the tent was lined up with the biggest coolers that Yeti makes, all full of the beer of your choice.  First Born Son Matthew said "I can tell you exactly how much Coors Light has been consumed.  I'm the only one drinking it!".   In less than hour, all the Bud Light was gone.  Fear not, Pon's was still open, and off they went, just sign, and drive!

Standing in the great hall of Oakhurst, the doors opened, and the ladies of Inverness Society entered wearing their favorite party dresses:  Maggie Parker, Ree Horne, and Mary Kat McDowell!  We all greeting each other as southerners do, and Mrs. Maggie leaned over and said " Bill, I must say, you filled out well!".  Followed by "and you can probably say the same about me!"

The Delta is a small world and we are always finding proof of that.  The decorator in charge of this event lives in Louise, Ms.  Two of his assistants for today's event were my spousal unit's cousins!  We figured that one out from some Facebook posts during the day.

Here are a few pic's from the day:

The wedding party
Tiffany, ready for the "goodbye walk"

I wished I could have stayed longer, but we had a long ride back and the spousal unit had another event to attend on Sunday.  Good folks and good times can be found is small Delta towns, especially mine, Inverness!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Delta Foodie Run

Been making cooler boxes and cheese straws and its now time for the Delta delivery run.  Had two cooler boxes to deliver, one in Inverness and the other in Leland.  Also had a ton of cheese straws I was taking for the family wedding on Saturday.

In order to miss all the going to work traffic, I took HWY 25 up to HWY 43 to the new road that intersects with the Nissan Parkway.  Its a little faster, but missing the stress of Metro Jackson going to work traffic was the key.  Once I get past Canton, I turn onto HWY 16 and take it to Yazoo City.

As a was reaching the city limits of Yazoo City, my hunger pains starting to kick in.  I decided to stop at Mickey Dee's for my snack.  Whoa! I could tell from the highway that this location was a happening place, and it was late, around 8:30.  The parking lot was totally full.  Every kind of vehicle was wrapped around that place twice, with double lines!  The retirees must have been having their weekly gathering here, as they all had handicapped tags on their cars, trucks, scooters, and transport vans.  Fortunately for me, the line wasn't too long of a wait.

I dropped off the first cooler box and the cheese straws in Inverness then made my way to Leland.  I had a cooler to deliver to the relatives of my good friend Mary Frances.  I ragged her bad on this trip because on the last delivery she gave me the wrong address!  Delivery was confirmed by the owner of the house, this time!

I had always heard about a restaurant in Leland called Connie's kitchen.  Never need able to stop before because they are closed on weekends.  They have a country food service, but are known for their baked goods.  This trip was for some of their cinnamon rolls.  Also tried one of their lemon squares. Awesome!  Here is a pic of the rolls:

Yep!  They are covered in icing.  Can't wait to try one tomorrow, which is a early riser for football Saturday in Starkville!

My next stop was Indianola.  No delivery, just a stop on the loop back toward home.  My destination on this stop was a place called Pea Soup's!  Its been a fixture of Indianola forever, currently owned by Brenda and Thomas Lott.  I went in, and placed my order.  There was a fellow in the back that kinda looked like Thomas.  He had Thomas's dark skin tone, but he was a whole lot older, heavier, shorter, and uglier than I remembered.  Of course, he was probably thinking the same thing about me!  As soon as I saw Brenda, I immediately recognized her, pretty as the first day I'd laid eyes on her, WAY back in the day.  They did not recoginize me, obviously for the reasons described above!

Here are some pics of Pea Soup's:

dining room decor

steak fingers, fries and hot dawg bun toast

Backside of Mrs. Brenda working the outside window
If you are in the area, give Pea Soup's a try.  Their son is a partner in the original Lost Pizza, which is next door.  A sign of that success is all of the Lost Pizza franchises popping up in Metro Jackson and Memphis. Love me some Lost!

Next stop was to see a friend of mine, Jack Beasley, in Yazoo City.  Jack is a festival food vendor that travels the country providing his mostly fried or grilled treats from his food trailer called Funny Face Foods:

Jack parks his food trailer just off HWY 49 in Yazoo City, pretty close to Ubon's BBQ.  The trailer is open Friday-Sunday when they are not on the road vending at some event.
My stop was for one item in particular, their red velvet funnel cake:
Its bad enough that its sprinkled with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar, but they add cream cheese icing too!  OMG, I was in funnel cake heaven.  If you are passing by on a weekend that they are open, stop and try this or one of their other unique foodie treats!

Finally made it home after all these foodie stops.  Now time to prep for Football Saturday!